We Don’t Need A “Green” Everything.

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Not everything needs, or should, be labeled or branded as being “green”. Have you guys noticed how every company on the face of the earth is starting to label their product, no matter what it is, as “green”? I have – and one that stands out as of late is an “Eco-Friendly Paintless Auto Dent Repair” business. Really? Did you really need to label that business as eco-anything at all? I would have used your service regardless of your self-proclaimed green-ness, as paintless dent removal is paintless dent removal. Labeling it as “eco-friendly” just looks kind of like a greenwash to me, and I don’t think anyone is going to fall for it. There is no need for everything to be green — some things can just… be. My friend Adam over at Twilight Earth made an explicit point recently about all things “green” in a post titled “Green Wont Be The Norm, Until We Stop Calling Things Green“, and I could not agree more. By continuing down the path of labeling everything under the sun “green”, the word and meaning gets entirely diluted and no longer has meaning.

Photo by Shutterstock

While I do still think we need to be able to differentiate between “good” and “not so good” when it comes to the products we buy, at least until everything becomes “good”, we do not need everything to be given the green label. Some things just don’t need it – like my paintless dent removal example above.

It’s one thing to try to greenwash us by claiming your product is eco-friendly when it really isn’t. It’s another to just use the phrase at will for no reason at all, without even trying to explain its use.

Please, manufacturers and corporate marketing people — not everything needs to be green. Sometimes it’s OK for a product to just be what it is!

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  1. You are spot on with your perspective – as long as honesty about not necessarily being green won’t trigger a call for bans and apologies. Some necessities are what they are, and maybe that’s good enough. Pragmatism has to fit in here somewhere, or this sustainability movement won’t be sustainable.

  2. Frankly, it turns me off to a company that is trying to get more business by using “green” terms when it’s not necessary. It looks like they are trying to capitalize on our eco-sensibilities. And while I agree with capitalism (as long as it doesn’t include basic shelter, healthcare, water and food – necessities for all at a simple level), I don’t agree with manipulating people for money.

  3. I do agree with all pointed mentioned. I’ve even cut down on the number of times I use the word “green” on my website and blog (though that is the title of both and I don’t have any plans of changing it). It does get old after a while.

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